The Evil Within #GraphicNovel

Title: The Evil Within, Volume 2: The Interlude | Author: Ryan O’Sullivan | Illustrators: Szymon Kudranski and Damien Worm | Colorists: Szymon Kudranski, Damien Worm and Guy Major | Publisher: Titan Comics | Pub. Date: 11/07/2017 | Pages: 64 | Genre: Horror | Language: English | Triggers: Child death, murder | Rating: 4 out of 5 | Source: Received from Titan for an honest review


The Evil Within, Volume 2: The Interlude

Coinciding with the release of the new game, get ready for the hotly anticipated comics sequel to Tango Gameworks’ blood-curdling survival horror series. Still shell-shocked by the horrific events that took place at the Beacon Mental Hospital, Detective Sebastian Castellanos finds himself investigating a gruesome murder in Krimson City that might be his key to understanding what happened in his terrifying encounter at Beacon. From the mind of Shinji Mikami – creator of the seminal Resident Evil series – The Evil Within represents the pinnacle of survival-horror gaming with its mind-bending environments, intricate story lines and blood-curdling scares.

I loved the video game The Evil Within so when this was offered I quickly said, “Yes, please!”. The Evil Within: The Interlude collects The Evil Within #2.1 and #2.2 into one book. Since they’re “coinciding” with the release of the second game they do a very good job of catching you up with the characters from the game.

I haven’t looked into The Evil Within 2 (most game reviewers are complete jerks about spoiling the story) so I’m not sure if these are supposed to lead into the game or not. They do feel like they’re supposed to be a lead-in. I wouldn’t recommend them to anyone who hasn’t played the game as you’ll most likely be very, very confused as to what’s going on. They do give you one of these “The Story So Far…” in the beginning but it’s just a paragraph telling you who Sebastian is. It also doesn’t really feel written for the casual reader. It feels like it was written specifically for people who have played the game.

While I wasn’t crazy about one of the art styles I did like how they used the two different styles to evoke two different worlds. They drab colors and cleaner lines fit the “real” world (I use quotations because if you’ve ever played The Evil Within you’ll realize that “real” is a hard concept to define in that world. I also liked the vivid oranges and reds for the other sequences. I loved the cover art. These are also included, along with a section on panels going through the steps, which was interesting.

The writing was good and didn’t stick out as being out of place for the characters. I did have one issue with the way the character of Sebastian is portrayed but I am not faulting the writer of the novel for this. I think it’s where they’re taking his character in The Evil Within 2. If it is…all I can say is The Grizzled World-Weary Alcoholic Detective has been done to death in every genre. Let him retire. 

These were made to tie into the series. There’s no way around that so someone who hasn’t played The Evil Within probably won’t enjoy it. I’m a little on the fence with this approach. The gamer half is very appreciative that books and merchandise are finally being marketed to what businesses used to think was too small of a crowd to have any financial impact. My general reader half though thinks it’s a little elitist and not likely to draw in new customers to either the games or the novels. The novels tell you just a tiny bit, hardly enough to make you think (if you generally don’t play games) “Gee, maybe I should try this”. And the side of me that has played it, it’s a little unsatisfying. There’s just not enough story to it and I sometimes wonder if they’re winging it for the sequel.

Although it piqued my interest it didn’t get me saying “Oooh, now I have to get The Evil Within 2!” which I’m pretty sure was its main objective.